PASADENA — When the scores started coming in, it was apparent that making the cut to qualify for the CIF State Boys Golf Tournament at the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach was going to take a superb effort.
For the players taking part in the Southern California Golf Assn. Regional Qualifier on Tuesday at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena, even shooting par was not enough to punch their ticket to state competition, as only the top six who were not members of a team moved on.
Three players alone fired four-over-par 68s on the day in a field that included 124 players from the Southern, L.A., Central and San Diego sections.
Although Burroughs High junior Kelsey Danzeisen turned in a solid round, his one-over-par 73 was not enough to keep his impressive postseason journey alive.
“It’s so tough when you consider how few players they take to go to state,” said former Indians coach Mike Krose, who was filling in for Coach Greg Everhart, who was on vacation. “That’s why making it to state is so difficult.”
In his round, Danzeisen had five birdies, nine pars and five bogeys to finish 27th.
“I played pretty solid, and I was happy with how I played,” Danzeisen said. “I bogeyed the first two holes back to back. But I was able to pull it together on the front nine and I got four birdies on five holes to shoot three under on the front and ended up with a 73.”
Finishing in a three-tie for first with 68s were Ben Doyle of La Jolla, Anthony Paolucci of La Jolla County Day and Johnny Ruiz of Camarillo.
Having played the Brookside course in the past — including in the Pacific League tournament — Danzeisen said he felt comfortable with the venue, which helped him with his game.
“My approach shots to the green were working today,” he said. “I was getting to within 10 feet of the pin on my approach shots. So, that was nice.”
Playing in his third CIF tournament in as many weeks has been a new experience for Danzeisen, who didn’t make the postseason in 2010 after finishing out of the top 10 in league. In the wake of his lack of experience, he said he isn’t beating himself up about not qualifying for state.
“This is my first time, and I really can’t expect miracles,” said Danzeisen, who has been playing for only three years. “I just tried to give it my best, and hopefully I can make it back next year. If I keep improving as much as I did from last year to this year, I think I can make it.”
Danzeisen is the first Burroughs player to advance this far in the CIF postseason since Brady Riggs placed third in state in the mid-1980s.
Despite placing fifth in the Pacific League tournament this year, Danzeisen did well in the first two playoff tournaments. He took part in the CIF Individual Final on May 24, which took place at Industry Hills Golf Club’s Babe Zaharias Course. Danzeisen fired a three-over-par-74, tying him for the fifth-best score of the day and a tie for 17th place.
Danzeisen qualified for the final by earning a spot out of the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional at Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo on May 16. Danzeisen fired a five-over-par 76 to finish tied for 20th in the event.
Krose said what Danzeisen has been able to accomplish this season is impressive.
“You have to remember that he’s only been playing for a little over three years,” Krose said. “He’s come a long, long way in a short period of time and he is looking to have a good senior year. He is just a really hard worker, and he’ll make that happen.”